A new study finds violence can prematurely age children, by as much as seven to 10 years.
The study looked at children's DNA sequences from age five to 10 and found they shortened faster than normal in kids exposed to violence.
As a result, researchers say that may make children more likely to get diseases associated with aging, like heart attacks.
Among the 236 children studied, nearly half had some exposure to violence, either in the form of observing violent acts against their mother, being bullied themselves, or being the victim of aggressive acts by an adult, TIME reports.
??This finding suggests the importance of including telomeres as stress markers in research to evaluate the effects of stress, said the study??s lead author, Idan Shalev, according to TIME.??
The study is published in Molecular Psychiatry.
(CNN contributed to this report)
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